Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo met with the media before Sunday’s game against the Reds and did not confirm the team will select Bryce Harper with the number one overall selection in Monday’s First-Year Player Draft. But it was pretty obvious they have been confident in their selection for quite some time and there is little suspense in who they will draft 1.1.
“We have made our decision. Tomorrow is a huge day for us. This is a big dray for the franchise. It is a big day for me. I love it. It is my favorite day of the season, draft day.
“We are thoroughly prepared for the draft. The guys upstairs (in the scouting department) have done a terrific job preparing. We have the draft board where we want it. We will tweak it up to the last minute, but we are fully prepared. There are no surprises and we are ready to go.”
Does drafting #1 last year help you in getting ready for this year’s pick?
“Heading into this last year we were certainly prepared and we had an impact draft. We feel the same way this year. We feel great where we are at and we like the players that will be available.”
How many players did you seriously look at?
“We started the season looking at about six or seven players that had a chance to be our one. It quickly dwindled down to a couple. In my mind, I had the guy in mind for quite a long time. It was to the point where he was going to have to lose the spot. It would have been hard for someone to gain the spot. He would have to lose the spot and that hasn’t happened.”
So what could get you off of a player you wanted to draft?
Non-performance, injury, that type of thing. Typical things that get you off a player. If the tools had regressed or if the injury had been a long-term effect, that type of thing.”
Are you going to tell us who you will pick number one right now?
“No we are not prepared to do that yet. We are going to keep the suspense until tomorrow night. It is not fair to the other players that are possibilities. We are going to keep that under wraps. It is not the biggest secret in the world. Until we make the pick things change, often up to the draft time so we are going to keep it (to ourselves).”